In the 1940s, our national symbol was in danger of extinction. The bald eagle’s food sources were contaminated by the pesticide DDT. Bald eagle population plummeted, placing the bird on the endangered species list. The Environmental Protection Agency later banned DDT, and today, the bald eagle is no longer endangered.
Watch this video to learn more about bald eagles and where to spot them in the wild.
Sources: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Federation
Welcome to National Wildlife Week. I have great news for you, our national bird, the bald eagle, is back. You may see them soaring with their white head, which doesn't occur in their plumage until they're about four years old. But they almost disappeared in the 40s through the use of the toxin DDT. Now due to reintroductory programs and the fact that we don't use those poisons, they're off the endangered species list and it's very hopeful they're going to continue to survive in the lower 48 states! Typically you'll see that they're riverine areas, they'll feed on fish, they'll feed on small animals, and sometimes even on carrion. Even though they're an endangered species success story and you can see them in many places all across the US, one thing that they still struggle with is lead poisoning. So when hunters and anglers use lead shot or sinkers when they're out you know recreating in nature, sometimes because the eagles eat carrion, they'll ingest that stuff and it makes them sick. So it's a really easy way for hunters and anglers to really help out the eagles, you just switch to non-lead shots. And of course you're going to want to get out this weekend and go out and look for bald eagles along a river or along a lake. Go online and see where the nests are. We even have live cams of eagles of raising babies. Watch our national bird as it makes a successful return to our country. And that's really what National Wildlife Week is all about this year. It's about celebrating our wild neighbors. And like Peter said, great opportunity to just get outside and experience nature this week.